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The Young Hornblower Omnibus: "Mr.Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", "Hornblower and the "Hotspur"" Paperback – 24 Sep 1998


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The Young Hornblower Omnibus: "Mr.Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", "Hornblower and the "Hotspur"" + Captain Hornblower R.N.: Hornblower and the 'Atropos', The Happy Return, A Ship of the Line + Admiral Hornblower: Flying Colours, The Commodore, Lord Hornblower, Hornblower in the West Indies
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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Film & TV Tie-in Ed edition (24 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140271732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140271737
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital and, after leaving Guy's without a degree, he turned to writing as a career.

His first success was Payment Deferred, a novel written at the age of twenty-four and later dramatized and filmed with Charles Laughton in the leading role. In 1932 Forester was offered a Hollywood contract, and from then until 1939 he spent thirteen weeks of every year in America.

On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect the material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A January gale was roaring up the Channel, blustering loudly, and bearing in its bosom rain squalls whose big drops rattled loudly on the tarpaulin clothing of those among the officers and men whose duties kept them on deck. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower is the prequel to the Horatio Hornblower series. Written as the sixth book chronologically, it covers the very first times when Hornblower served in His Majesty's navy. My recommendation is that you read it first, so that you can follow Hornblower chronologically along over his career as it develops.
Since much of service aboard a naval vessel is routine, C.S. Forester gives us the high spots of Hornblower's first years in the form of short stories beginning at age 17 when he entered the navy.
Each story is nicely balanced among the following qualities: Hornblower's inexperience; the rapid shift of circumstances that can occur at sea; Hornblower's physical and psychological weaknesses and courage to overcome them; the demands of honor; the importance of thinking clearly, getting good information, and making a swift decision; the benefits of discipline; and the brotherhood of all seaman before the dangers they face.
Those who are interested in the war between Britain and France after the French Revolution in 1789 will find the material to bring those events to life in a vivid way. I learned a lot about the details of naval warfare as it was conducted then.
The weakness of most short story writers is that their plots and resolutions often become overly predictable. These short stories are predictable only in their originality and unpredictability. As such, I found myself drawn forward, wondering what rabbit Forester would next pull out of the hat.
This is just the sort of book that I loved to read as a teenager, and I could feel the years peeling off as I raced through the stories. This book would be a wonderful gift to a teenager who likes adventure tales based on historical events.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 July 2004
Format: Paperback
Hornblower and the Hotspur is just the sort of book to inspire youngsters to want to do the right thing. The temptations of doing the wrong thing, of looking the other way, or of chasing the golden fleece are all present. You see Commander Hornblower dealing with these temptations, and enjoying the rewards and pains of pursuing the right course. Also, he is often rewarded for taking the time to do his homework (such as his never-ending charting of the coastal inlets in Brittany). Few modern novels create some upright and forthright heroes for young people to model themselves after.
Older fans of C.S. Forester and the Hornblower series will also be rewarded by the fascinating details of how a small sloop can successfully challenge all comers! If you are a sailor or have some interest in the subject, you will be richly rewarded by the many fine details that Mr. Forester provides about the special challenges of storms, the European coast, and running a long-term blockade of Europe after the Peace of Amiens breaks down in 1803.
Those who have been waiting for Hornblower to "get a life" will be pleased to see that his attachments to shore, family, and to those nearest to him increase greatly in this book. As a result, he has to think about the consequences more carefully as he faces death . . . and what will happen to others if he fails.
In a fascinating series of "almost asides" Hornblower has great problems with his personal servants in this novel. These scenes help establish Hornblower's lack of priority for personal comfort, and the vulnerability that can be created for you if those close to you fail to do their duties.
To me, the most rewarding part of the book came in the many sections that explored what it means to be courageous.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar 1999
Format: Paperback
As a sailor myself, and having recently read all through Patrick O'Brien's Jack Aubrey novels, comparisons were drawn with C.S.Forester and Hornblower. I read all the Hornblower novels years ago, and now that I am re-visiting them, I find I read them at a more moderate pace, enjoying and relishing the detail: Hornblower's own character, those of Bush and the rest of the 'cast'. But it is only by considering the details of weather and wind conditions, in relation to a careful look at a map of the relevant coast, that Hornblower's activities - whether clawing off a lee shore or navigating skillfully off Brest - really bite! Whereas I read these before as a young man, at a gallop, they reward sitting comfortably with a fine glass of red wine - somehow it enlivens the image of a creaking vessel of the early 1800's complete with dark spaces lit only by spluttering tallow candles in jars. Especially true in this respect is the superbly written night action in Hotspur- so easily skipped over without concern for the finer detail, but masterly when you use your imagination to see what Forester wanted you to see. And when you have read the last of Horny, and need more of the same, turn to O'Brien - I think that the two authors are out of prety much the same mould.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By nmb-uk@cableinet.co.uk on 6 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
Worth reading every 10 years or so to remind us what a truly entertaining author CSF was. As good a command of the english language as Conrad, CSF takes us through a man's glorious naval career, occasionally tinged with tragedy but never dull. The ideal introduction to an examination of the Napoleonic era which has spawned so many good books by inspired authors...
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